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Tom Clements Award recipients announced

The award is in honor of Tom Clements, a public servant who was killed in MArch 2013 while serving as executive director of the Department of Corrections
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Governor Polis announced the Tom Clements Award winners, recognizing innovative and hardworking state employees who dedicate their time and energy to deliver real results to Coloradans, elevate the standard of excellence in government, and adapt systems and processes to most efficiently and effectively serve Coloradans. 

“I am excited to celebrate the incredible work being done by our dedicated State workforce. The Tom Clements Award winners are  a reminder of Tom’s legacy of exceptional service and commitment to innovation. This year’s honorees are no exception and  I am proud to celebrate their remarkable contributions to the people of Colorado,” said Governor Jared Polis.

These awards honor Tom Clements, a dedicated public servant, who was killed in March of 2013 while serving as executive director of the Department of Corrections. This award reflects Colorado's commitment to building a lasting culture of operational excellence and customer service to ensure Coloradans can access the quality services they deserve. Today’s event recognized this year’s Tom Clement’s honorees alongside Colorado’s honorees for Public Service Recognition Week, marking the first time these events have been celebrated jointly.  

The Tom Clements Award recognizes individuals and teams who have gone above and beyond in their duties, delivering important results for Coloradans.This award recognizes the applications of two categories: Outstanding Service in Government and Outstanding Innovation in Government.

The winners were nominated through their Departments, and a panel of community leaders and public servants served as judges for the award. The judges reviewed nominations from every state agency to identify submissions that solved complex problems through exceptional dedication, innovation and delivery of solutions that highlight the state’s  operational and policy priorities. This year’s winners and honorable mentions are directly helping to achieve those goals. 

This year’s judges were former Governor Bill Ritter, former Denver City Councillor Albus Brooks, long-time Denver news anchor and community leader Anne Trujillo, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioner Dallas May, as well as Tom’s widow and former Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Human Services Dr. Lisa Clements. This year’s winners and honorable mentions are directly helping to achieve major priorities for Colorado, including making Colorado one of the ten safest states, reaching 100% renewable energy, and ensuring that Coloradans have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare.

The winners of this year’s awards are:

Outstanding Innovation in Government: 

Winner: The Keep Colorado Wild Teams at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Revenue (DOR)


DOR: Kevin Kihn: Deputy Director, DMV Vehicle Services Section, Johnny Zabonik: Colorado DRIVES Project Manager, FAST Enterprises, Steve Crandall: Colorado DPR Innovation, Strategy and Delivery (ISD) Program Manager

DNR: Rebecca Ferrell: CPW Branding and Communications Section Manager, Danielle Isenhart: CPW License, Reservation & Customer Operations Manager, Kirk Teklits: CPW Business Operations Manager

Honorable Mentions: 

DNR Innovative Watershed Management:

  • Chris Sturm, Watershed Program Director at the Colorado Water Conservation Board

Department of Insurance (DOI) Healthcare Cost Reduction Program:

  • Kate Harris, Chief Deputy Commissioner
  • Kyla Hoskins, Chief Deputy Commissioner

Outstanding Service in Government:

Winner: The Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC); Limon Prison Seminaries Foundation

Awardee: Warden Terry Jaques

Honorable Mentions: 

Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Prop 123 Implementation Team:

  • Robyn DiFalco, Local Planning Capacity Grant Program Manager
  • Maulid “Mo” Miskell, Deputy Division Director; Division of Housing

Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) Western Region OneSource Team:

  • Darin Collazo, Administrator
  • Brandon De Bruyn, State DEERS Operator; Sara Baker, Federal DEERS Operator
  • Katina O’Dell, Support Representative; Emily Currier, Support Representative

Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Agricultural Workers Service Program:

  • Aldo Parra, Manager of the Agricultural Worker Services Program

Chief of Staff Operational Excellence Award:

Winner: Dee Daniels Scriven, Director of the Office of New Americans at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)